The following story was written and reported by Richie Richards, Native Sun News Staff Writer. All content © Native Sun News.
Webster Allen Two Hawk Jr. was found near Memorial Park in Rapid City, South Dakota. Photo from RCCVB
Homeless Indian man dies in freezing weather
By Richie Richards
Native Sun News Staff Writer
RAPID CITY –– On the morning of Mar. 3 at approximately 10:30 a.m., police were called to the corner of Omaha and 5th streets, near Memorial Park for a report of a man found lying dead close to three green electrical boxes just feet away from one of the busiest intersections in Rapid City.
Rapid City Police Department confirmed Wednesday the body was that of Webster Allen Two Hawk Jr.; a homeless man living in and around Rapid City.
Native Sun News spoke to a close friend of Two Hawk who was described as being a very kind person and talented artist. His art work has touched many over the years.
A supervisor of the Cornerstone Rescue Mission, Joe Carpenter, spoke to Native Sun News regarding Two Hawk saying, “He was an excellent artist and well-known to everyone. He could often be found at a table in the dining room doing his artwork. He liked to paint murals on leather jackets for people.
Webster Allen Two Hawk Jr. pictured in Florida. Photo courtesy Ernestine Chasing Hawk
The Cornerstone Rescue Mission, a privately funded 501(c) 3 tax exempt, non-profit organization, is one option for the homeless in Rapid City. Often times, the homeless have friends and relatives in town who care for them- but when drinking or using, they are not always welcome.
As is the case at the Mission, persons are turned away at the door when intoxicated or with alcohol in their system. Random breathalyzers are given to those suspected of drinking. If found to be using, they are asked to leave. In extreme weather conditions, detox is called for their safety.
According the Carpenter, the Mission has 110 beds available on a nightly basis. Homeless residents are given 7 days of free stay; after that there is a charge of $7 per night for those working.
For those unemployed, the Mission requires mission service; type of volunteership which would include odd jobs or chores around the facility.
Beginning in August 2014, Webster Allen Two Hawk Jr. began staying at the Mission periodically according to Joe. He would stay a week at a time. He last checked in to the Mission on Feb. 22 and was there until March 1.
On the evening of March 2, the night before Two Hawk was found dead in the snow, he did not check in for bed check at 10 p.m. at the Mission. Whether or not he was turned away at the Mission that evening is under suspicion but hasn’t been confirmed by staff.
The homeless population is Rapid City live under extreme conditions; alcoholism, mental illness, lack of family support, and limited resources for shelter during harsh winter conditions.
Once found to be under the influence, they are left to fend for themselves. This leaves them wondering about aimlessly for warmth and shelter.
The autopsy of Webster Allen Two Hawk has yet to confirm how he died; one of the factors could possibly be he had nowhere to go on a cold and windy winter night in Rapid City.
(Contact Richie Richards at email@example.com)
Copyright permission Native Sun News
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